Care Quality Commission
How CQC is supporting testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) in the adult care sector
At the request of the Department of Health and Social Care, we have since 9 April been providing administrative support to enable testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) in the adult social care sector.
Initially we provided a mechanism to enable providers to refer their staff for testing at one of a number of drive-through locations nationwide, prior to the launch of a national portal to enable employees and staff to organise this directly. We have also supported a pilot to enable care homes to order testing kits for their residents.
We have used our technology and our relationship with registered providers to contact care homes and offer them the opportunity to order a testing kit and to place this order for them. This is the only part of the process of which we have oversight. The kits are then couriered to homes via a third party and the homes then administer the tests which are then collected for analysis. Once processed the home receive their results directly.
Testing is a critical part of the UK’s coronavirus response. Although the facilitation of testing is outside of our statutory functions, we took the decision to support this vital work on an interim basis in recognition of the value we could add due to our relationships with registered adult social care providers. Our administrative role is backed up by guidance developed by the Department of Health and Social Care which provides the clinical framework for safe testing of residents. Eligibility for tests and the plans for rollout across the whole adult social care sector is defined by the Department of Health and Social Care – they are releasing updates on their plans regularly.
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